The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has urged help to be provided for SMEs in next year’s budget to enable employers to create more jobs.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said at least 45% of the workforce needs to be highly skilled for Malaysia to compete on the global stage.
The 2022 budget will focus on job and income recovery and provide more targeted assistance to boost socio-economic resilience.
Employers are urging the government to allow people who have received their first vaccine dose to get back to work to prevent their businesses from shuttering.
The association warned that SMEs were in their most vulnerable stage and would likely shut down if the economy remained closed.
Factory owners who employ foreign workers have been advised to set up their own vaccination centres (PPVs) at their work premises.
Samenta also calls on for the exemption of hotel quarantines for business travellers who are fully vaccinated and have tested negative for COVID-19.
As some sectors of the economy reopen, The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia reminds businesses to comply with existing SOPs.
As of July this year, some 150,000 formal workers have lost their jobs, while over 768,700 individuals remain unemployed.
Employees who need to be present at workplaces must undergo fortnightly RTK Antigen tests approved by the health ministry.
In 2020, the MSME sector, spanning over 1.15 million businesses, employed 7.3 million people, or almost half of the country’s workforce.
The unemployment rate rose month-on-month to 4.8% in June, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Malaysia’s National Security Council is expected to announce the reopening of business sectors on the week of August 9.,
To help people find jobs, the government has allocated RM2 billion (US$0.47 billion) under the PenjanaKerjaya programme.
Fresh graduates and first-time job seekers need to brace themselves for stiff competition amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
The Malaysian government aims to fully reopen the economy by October earliest, based around recommendations by the National Recovery Council.
Some 580,000 businesses, representing 49% of the SME sector, are at risk of failing by October this year if they are not allowed to open up operations by then.
Under the proposal, business owners and workers will have to be fully vaccinated and undergo a weekly COVID-19 swab test.
Maxis explains how it is actively playing a role in building talent for Malaysia, particularly in the key areas of digitalisation and emerging technologies.
Employers are also advised to set up a dedicated safety department at the workplace and appoint a safety office at the work site.
The payout will be on top of the RM$1,000 assistance which was credited to the companies’ bank accounts in mid-June this year.
The Malaysian Employers Federation also proposed the set up of a platform to record, monitor and report adverse events related to the COVID-19 vaccinations.
The programme is to be implemented for four months from August 1st, and would be open to all economic sectors in the first two months.
The alliance urged the government to change its strategy as very little improvement has been made with regards to the COVID-19 case daily tally.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has called on the government to penalise businesses not following measures for pandemic control.
The funds have been channelled to 75,262 employers, allowing them to maintain employment of 659,066 workers.
The facility aims to provide relief and support the recovery of SMEs in the services sector, and brings the total allocation to RM$6 billion.
The government’s guidelines stipulate that only 60% of employees in selected sectors can report to the office.
Some RM$500 million would be allocated to the unemployed, benefiting around 1 million recipients who will each receive RM$500.
A survey revealed that only 16% of SMEs expect their businesses to recover only in 2023, citing movement restrictions as dampening business demand.